Tag Archives: easy Lenten recipes

Breaded Cajun Fish Filets

A quick post as I am running behind here.

This recipe is based on one of the late Jeff Smith’s, (The Frugal Gourmet), and, with all due respect to my Cajun friends, I have toned the spiciness down. Feel free to fire it up!

Breaded Cajun Fish Filets; easy and tasty!

Breaded Cajun Fish Filets; easy and tasty!

(These also make an excellent sandwich when placed on a big bun or in Italian bread with a bit of mayonnaise or tartar sauce and some nice lettuce leaves.If you’re feeling really adventuresome, add caramelized onion &/or sauteed or pickled peppers.)

Breaded Cajun Fish Filets

1 lb. fish filets, (preferably frozen whitefish; I like cod. Please see guidelines n the Archive: “Lent/Easy Baked Fish “, Feb. 2013)

1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

1 cup flour (can be rice flour)
1 cup cornmeal

2+ tsp garlic granules or powder,(if you only have garlic salt, omit salt
2 tsp. salt (any type)
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3+ Tbsp butter and 1Tbsp olive oil, (NOT extra virgin
or 4+ Tbsp. margarine

Mix the milk and lemon juice. (Milk may curdle; that is fine). Soak the thawed fish filets for at least 15 minutes in the milk mixture.

In another bowl, mix the flour and cornmeal; add the salt, garlic and cayenne, adding a little of the pepper and adding more if needed. (Taste at this point for saltiness, a nice garlicky flavor and the ‘heat’ of the cayenne; add more of any of these, if needed.)

Heat some of the butter and oil or margarine in a flat, non-stick pan until rather hot,(do not burn). Place a small amount of the breading mixture on a plate. Remove one filet at a time from the milk mixture and place on the plate. Sprinkle the top of the filet liberally with more breading and press the breading down onto the fish. Carefully flip the fish over into the hot pan. Place more breading on top of the filet and press down. Continue with the remainder of the fish, keeping them in one layer in the pan.(You will need to make only 2-3 at a time). Keep the heat fairly high and do not attempt to turn the filets until they are golden brown on the underside or they may not be firm enough to survive the flip. Check carefully with a spatula or ‘pancake turner’ for color. When browned, flip gently and allow that side to brown. (You may need to add more butter and oil or margarine.) Repeat until all the fish is cooked.
(If the filets break, don’t worry; they will taste just as good. If your filets are thin, you may want to cut them into pieces no bigger than 2 ½-3 ” . They will cook  with less chance of breakage when turning.)

Serve with “Dirty Rice“, (See Archive, February 2013″Mahi-Mahi/Fish with Dirty Rice, Pasta and Potatoes”) and vegetables of your choice, but, as another nod to the Cajun of it, I suggest some sort of ‘Greens’.

Enjoy!

Mahi-mahi/Fish with Dirty Rice, Pasta, Potatoes

Judy,” Petit4Chocolatier” asked to see my Mahi-mahi recipe. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, “Mahi-mahi” means “very strong” in Hawaiian and it is a strong-flavored fish, although I would not say that the flavor is ‘fishy’. Although it does not taste the same, the type of flavor-strength is reminiscent of salmon’s flavor strength.
I will give you my recipe below, but not a picture. I had not be able to purchase Mahi-mahi where I live,(I used to make ‘food runs’ out of town to a bigger city), and I just hadn’t looked lately. When I did find it in frozen filets at the biggest supermarket here, I found that it is priced at $20.00 a pound! That is a bit steep for my budget this year…(I’m planning on winning the lottery next year.)
Below is a way that went over big when I was where I could get nice, fresh Mahi-mahi.
You can make this with any type of fish filets, which is in fact, what I do. I found that Mahi-mahi and broccoli go well together. You may substitute or add cauliflower, California-blend or Italian-style frozen vegetables, instead of cooking fresh.

Mahi-mahi, (again, like salmon) comes in filets, often with a thick skin on one side. If you choose to grill or bake it, leave the skin on; if you want to pan-fry the filets, remove it first. This is done by placing the fish skin-side-down on a flat cutting board or a counter covered with a towel,(so that it will not slip). Take the longest sharp knife you have. Slowly slice between the flesh and the skin. Hold the fish down with your fee hand and continue slicing through the fish. If you are less than confident in being able to judge, place the fish skin-side-up, and knick the corner between the flesh and the skin. Slowly and gently cut the skin away lifting the skin with your free hand. Be very careful so the knife does not slip and you cut yourself.

Fish with ‘Dirty Rice*’
1 lb fish filets (Mahi-mahi or?)
2 Tbsp. regular olive oil, peanut oil or other cooking oil
2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice (You can use Balsamic, Malt or other vinegar)
1 ½ Tbsp. butter
½ cup chopped green onions (or other onions, diced)
½ cup minced green peppers
1 ½ tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt

2 cups prepared rice*[see footnote]

Rinse and dry filets; brown quickly in the oil and salt. [You may add other herbs or spices as you like. See “Lent/Easy Baked Fish” post for ideas.]
Remove the fish and drain the oil from the pan, but do not clean it. Add the butter, melt it and , using a spatula, pick up any bits of stuck fish. Add the lemon juice, onion, peppers, paprika and salt. Cook until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the broccoli or mixed vegetables. Fold in the rice and warm thoroughly. Place on platter and place fish over top.

I often make the ‘Dirty Rice*” and omit the mixed vegetables, or place them on the side. It rather depends on the type of fish, how big the pieces or if I have made them another way, or with more herbs and spices.

One way is :

Lemon –Pepper Fish

Fish filets, any type
Lemon juice
Butter
Salt,
Pepper (preferably cracked or course-ground)

Melt butter in a pan,( the amounts of ingredients will vary depending on how much fish you will be cooking; use your best judgment)
add 2 tsp-1 ½ Tbsp (1/2 to 1 lb of fish) lemon juice
cook on med-high until bubbly and the lemon has reduced,(evaporated) somewhat
add the fish; salt and pepper it
cook it quickly until brown underneath and turn quickly. Cook until just done.(Time will vary by thickness of fish. “Done” will be when the flesh is completely opaque).
Remove the fish, keep warm and repeat with the recipe above for ‘Dirty Rice*, but omit lemon juice or vinegar.

* Note: Another twist is to use pasta, potatoes or couscous instead of rice.
I like to use/vegetable couscous or any type of small pasta instead of rice. Vegetable pastas, such as the tomato-carrot one picture above, adds more flavor and nutrition.
It is also tasty and easy to grab a bag of frozen ready-to-cook hash browns
potatoes ,
make your own potato cubes or to grate them and cook them in the
butter/pepper/onion mixture.

fish with pasta

I will leave you with one curious piece of information. Mahi-mahi is also called
“common dolphinfish”; but it is a true fish, not at all related to the animals we normally
call ‘dolphins’. It also has the name of “dorado” .
Unrelatedly, but curiously, the word “mahi” means “fish” in Persian.